Traveler Of The Month: Tanya De Herrera
Our featured traveler for August is Tanya De Herrera! When Tanya is not helping people through SLP, she’s busy trying new foods and sharing fun travel pics on social media. Tanya is a fantastic therapist and we love her patient and easy going personality! We’re so lucky to have her be part of the Advanced family! Her recruiter Jen had this to say:
Tanya is compassionate, loyal, and all around good person and therapist. She is always understanding and willing to take on new challenges! She is what every recruiter looks for in a traveler!
Get To Know Tanya
Why or how did you get into therapy?
I don’t have a fabulous story about how I got into therapy. I always knew I wanted to do something to help people. Being a teacher was an option, but I was not completely drawn to it. I am a planner. I need to have a plan. I thought to would be wise to choose a career so I would know which school to apply to based on my major. Right around junior/senior year of high school, I went to the library and borrowed books about careers.
I originally thought about physical therapy, but didn’t think it would be something I could do physically because of certain limitations that I thought I had. This was way before I knew anything about body mechanics. So I ruled it out and kept with my research. I stumbled eventually on a book about being a Speech-Language Pathologist and I was hooked. Of course, my freshman advisor at college told me that I will probably change my major, but I knew better. You see I am incredibly indecisive, but when I make a decision fast or without doubts, I stick with it.
Do you have any advice for future therapists?
- Be flexible. Things don’t always go as planned. Learn to think outside the box so you can roll with it when the unexpected happens, whether in a session, in your career, or your life. And sometimes that unexpected great experience might be where you least expect it. As a person who loves a plan, this was the hardest thing to do. But as you let go, it becomes easier and easier.
- Don’t take anything personally, whether it is patients, parents, family members, bosses, etc. Sometimes their bad moods are not a reflection on you but you just happen to be the person standing in front of them at the time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Reach out to your colleagues in your chosen field. They are a wealth of information.
- You have to be compassionate to be in this field. At times, you will be working with some very sick people or people dealing with some unexpected diagnoses. It will take time to learn when to push a person and when to let them slide a little. I am still learning myself.
- Whether in a travel job or a permanent position, it isn’t always about the money. Weigh the pros and cons. Experiences gained. Lessons learned. Peace of mind. Some places will promise you rainbows and unicorns but when you get there you find out that it comes with a price.
- For my SNF folks, always find out productivity standards. It gives you an idea of what the company stands for. Unfotunately, 90% seems to be the standard for evaluating therapists in traveling. Even with point-of-service, as an SLP, it seems close to impossible to reach, but it is the standard. Anything above that is ridiculous. Seriously, run fast in the opposite direction.
Favorite travel location and why?
The San Francisco Bay area, hands down. I know, I know….But, it’s so expensive! Yes, it is. But you can make it work. Though, you will have to accept that you will most likely have to share an apartment and eat out less…gasp!
But it is so great here! I mean, it’s California! I don’t even know how to explain it. I feel like I was always meant to be here. You have the sun, and the water, the people and San Francisco has so much to offer! It is full of culture and arts. There are festivals and events for everyone’s interest and the Golden Gate Bridge! And you can fill every weekend with day or overnight trips if you wanted in the city or beyond. There’s Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Carmel-by-the-Sea/Montery Bay, to name a few. You could fly up to Portland or Seattle for the weekend. I have had so many great experiences here. I even participated in the San Francisco Carnival parade!
If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Teleportation. I want to be able to go anywhere in a moment’s notice. It would be awesome not to have to sit in traffic. I could sleep in. I could go to events at 6:00 even though I just got off of work. I’d never be late. I could go visit my nephew (the apple of my eye) across the country to play with him instead of watching him build and destroy cities via Skype. Cook dinner for my mom and sleep in my bed at home and then boom be at work the next day across the country. Oh, the places I could go to!
What are some of your hobbies?
I feel like Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” as she stood awkwardly in front of the class saying, “I love to dance.” Particularly, Salsa on 2, also known as New York style salsa. I mean I am not this phenomenal dancer or anything, but it brings me joy. I wish I had more time to take more classes.
I am a huge foodie. I love trying new foods and have really gotten to enjoy cooking.
Amateur photography with my cell phone is another of my hobbies. My friends would say that I am a professional selfie taker. After 3 years of traveling alone, I have become quite adept.
And, finally, traveling. That’s why I do travel therapy.
Want to work with Tanya’s recruiter?